Recession will not cut NHS budgets or pensions, says Johnson

Health secretary Alan Johnson reassured all NHS staff that the economic crisis would not affect budgets or pensions for at least three years, but warned that careful planning was required for the next five years.

‘We must ensure every penny is well spent,' he said.

Responding to concerned delegates via video link yesterday at the NHS Employers annual conference in Birmingham, Mr Johnson said that the government would not renege on NHS pensions, salaries or budgets or claw back deficits from PCTs. 

The health secretary also said that 125 new GP surgeries in under-doctored areas and a focus on preventive medicine would avert the potential health crisis that a recession could cause.

‘We're not looking at a 1920s-style meltdown here. People are saying this is going to go on for three, four years - I don't think that is going to happen.'

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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